Executive Director

  • Position status: Now Hiring
  • Type: Permanent, year round, salaried, exempt.


Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization providing quality outdoor education for youth and adults on the Colorado Plateau for over thirty years. Immersion in nature, experiential learning, and caring for the land are our touchstones. Through field programs in the desert and rivers, youth and adults explore interdisciplinary studies in natural science, the arts, and the physical and cultural geography of the region. The curriculum is continually updated to incorporate new knowledge and best practices in outdoor education. In all programs, CFI demonstrates a land ethic of sustainability. The mission of CFI is supported by grant and donor contributions as well as program revenues.

Position Summary

The Executive Director (ED) is the chief executive officer responsible for CFI’s staff, programs, fundraising, and implementation of its mission. The ED works with and reports to a Board of Directors consisting of community members, donors, educators, and businesspeople. The Executive Director has broad authority to govern the operation of CFI to further its mission, goals, and strategic objectives as approved by the Board of Directors. Primary responsibilities of the ED include staff management and development; financial management and fundraising; marketing and community relations; program development and evaluation; organizational partnerships; and implementation of strategic plans. The Executive Director is the Institute’s principal advocate to external constituencies.



  • Collaborate with Board and staff to implement and refine the strategic plan while ensuring that priorities and budget are aligned with CFI’s core mission.
  • Provide inspirational leadership to CFI staff, volunteers, board, and membership.
  • Cultivate partnerships and collaborations with other non-profits, agencies, and groups that further the mission of CFI.
  • Ensure the implementation of all board policies.
  • Demonstrate initiative, adaptability, and proactive response to opportunities and challenges with timely and well-informed decisions.


  • Collaborate with Board and Staff to determine range and type of annual program offerings, pricing, and scholarships.
  • Ensure educational and outfitting excellence and rigorous program evaluation.
  • Ensure that all permits (NPS, BLM, USFS, Navajo, and state) are current.
  • Ensure that CFI meets all local, state, and federal laws.
  • Communicate program results to the public with an emphasis on the successes of CFI programs.

Marketing and Public Relations:

  • Increase revenue from major donors, foundations, government agencies, and corporations.
  • Develop new donor relationships.
  • Work with the board of directors and staff to design and implement strategic fundraising activities, campaigns, and events.
  • Manage a portfolio of general members and major donors and solicit major gifts.
  • Direct the preparation of external competitive grants. Research and write grants as needed.
  • Meet or exceed annual fund targets and capital goals as outlined in the approved budget.

Administration and Fiscal Responsibility:

  • Prepare, oversee, and prudently manage a goal-oriented annual budget with a focus on financial capacity and long-term security.
  • Ensure that sound financial controls are in place and set financial priorities accurately to ensure CFI operates in a manner that supports the needs of the program and staff.
  • Ensure the safe keeping of corporate records.
  • Ensure that all required insurances are current.
  • Work with Certified Public Accountant and finance committee to review and file IRS 990.

Board Relations:

  • Report regularly on organizational and financial goals and objectives.
  • Meet regularly with the Board Chair and Executive Committee to develop agendas collaboratively.
  • Work with Board to recruit and train new Board members.


The ED for CFI will be enthusiastically committed to its mission. S/he should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience preferably within the non-profit and/or outfitting world.

  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Strong financial management skills and familiarity with accounting procedures.
  • Past success working with a board of directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships.
  • Strong marketing, and public relations experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Strong fundraising experience with both individual donors and foundation grants.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • An action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning.
  • Highly strategic; able to anticipate future consequences, trends, and position organization favorably.
  • Able to solicit input and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders and to make informed decisions and judgments.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people; a persuasive negotiator able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions.
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Related educational degree/experience.

Read Our Executive Director Recruitment COVID-19 Update

To submit a cover letter and resume please contact:

Tom Rees, Board Secretary
Canyonlands Field Institute